North Korea is said to have conducted a missile test on Friday, the third in two weeks, just hours after calling a US campaign for fresh penalties over the previous launches a “provocation” and threatening a severe response.
The news: The Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea stated North Korea fired an unidentified projectile, but did not elaborate.
- According to Japan’s coast guard, the North fired a ballistic missile.
- The launch would be the third since the start of the year, marking an exceptionally rapid tempo of missile tests. The previous two were said to be hypersonic missiles, capable of tremendous speeds and manoeuvrability after launch.
- North Korea justified its missile launches as a legitimate right to self-defence and claimed the US was deliberately worsening the situation by implementing fresh sanctions, according to state media citing the foreign ministry earlier on Friday.
What’s going on: North Korea’s recent creation of a new-type weapon was part of its attempts to modernise its national defence capability, according to the foreign ministry, and did not target any one country or endanger the security of neighbouring countries.
- If the US takes a confrontational position, the statement warned of an unspecified “stronger and inevitable retribution”.
- Following a series of North Korean missile launches, US President Joe Biden’s government imposed its first sanctions on North Korea’s nuclear development on Wednesday.
- It also urged the UN Security Council to take action against a number of North Korean people and businesses accused of breaking UN Security Council resolutions.
What they’re saying: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the tests were “profoundly destabilising”, but that the US has made clear it had no hostile intent toward North Korea and was eager to engage in negotiations without preconditions.
- While Washington may talk about diplomacy and discussion, North Korea’s foreign ministry claims that “it is still absorbed in its policy of isolating and suffocating” the country.
- “The United States is purposefully worsening the situation, even with the imposition of unilateral sanctions, not content with bringing the DPRK’s legitimate conduct to the UN Security Council,” read the statement.